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Engine used on penultimate space shuttle flight relit for NASA's new rocket
[i]A rocket engine that helped launch five space shuttle missions, including the penultimate flight of the program in 2011, was fired again on Thursday (March 10) in preparation for the first crewed flight of NASA's new heavy-lift rocket.
The space agency successfully test fired the RS-25 rocket engine for a full 500 seconds, clearing a milestone towards its exploration goals. The next time that particular engine, serial number 2059, fires for that length of time, it will be to launch astronauts on NASA's first crewed mission beyond Earth orbit since the last of the Apollo moon missions more than 45 years ago.
"What a great moment for NASA," said Rick Gilbrech, the director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where Thursday's hot fire test took place. "We have exciting days ahead with a return to deep space and a journey to Mars, and this test is a very big step in that direction."[/i]
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